GUEST BLOG Katie R. Day,
Quinnipiac University School of Law, J.D. Candidate 2018
It can be hard to resist the temptation to study continuously, but working on your outline at 2 a.m. will likely make you feel burnt out and exhausted.
For pretty much every law student finals is the most stressful time of the year!
Despite the fact that this is my third year dealing with exams, I’m still feeling the pressure. Although over the past few years I have developed a few tactics for making exam season a bit more bearable and I wanted to share them with you.
Make a schedule (and actually stick with it). Set aside time to study and work on papers and make sure you’re really productive during that time. Then, when your study time is up, put down the books and take a break. It can be hard to resist the temptation to study continuously, but working on your outline at 2 a.m. will likely make you feel burnt out and exhausted. It’s important to step away from exams for at least a little bit every day.
Don’t wait. Part of avoiding the midnight cram is making sure you don’t put everything off until the last minute. Be aware of your exam dates and the due dates of any papers or projects—I write mine down in my planner—and then make sure you’re making progress on everything.
Don’t underestimate. We’ve all gotten an assignment, looked at it, and thought “this will be easy” only to have it take way longer than expected. Underestimating the amount of time it will take to write a paper or finish an outline will put you in a squeeze during finals since you’ll end up rushing to get things done. If anything, overestimate the time it will take. If you finish sooner than you thought you’ll feel ahead of the game and more relaxed.
Take care of yourself. There’s nothing worse than getting sick during finals, but a lot of people do, likely because they’re burning both ends of the candle so to speak. Even though you have a lot of studying to do, make sure you take time to care for yourself. Eat healthy meals instead of munching on junk food. Try to get your 8 hours of sleep. Take time to stay connected to friends and family. Maybe even try a new exercise class at the gym. For me, my spin classes are the perfect way to de-stress and get re-energized. I also block off some time to grab dinner with a friend or call my grandma to catch up.
How do you manage finals season? Let me know on Twitter @The3LLife!